Background: Extensive research has been devoted to cystic fibrosis-related brochiectasis, compared with non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis but the latter is more common and results in significant morbidity and mortality. We assessed the relationship between pulmonary function test (PFT) findings and sputum bacteriology, blood gases, number of hospital admissions and mortality in patients with non-cystic fibrosis bonchiectasis (NCFB).
Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of 88 consecutive patients admitted with exacerbation of bronchiectasis over 5 years from 1996 to 2001. Demographic and clinical data collected included gender, age, pulmonary functions, arterial blood gases, sputum bacteriology during stable and exacerbation periods, and number of hospital admissions due to exacerbation of bronchiectasis. A comparison was made between patients having obstructive airway disease (OAD group) and patients with normal or restrictive pulmonary functions (non-OAD group).
Results: OAD in patients with NCFB adversely affected clinical outcome. There was a significant increase in Pseudomonas colonization (60.3% vs. 16%; P<0.0003), hypercapnic respiratory failure (63.4% vs. 20%; P<0.0003), and mean number of admissions due to exacerbation (6 vs. 2; P<0.0001) in the OAD group as compared with the non-OAD group. Although mortality was increased in the OAD group, the difference was not statistically significant.
Conclusion: Patients with NCFB who have OAD have a significantly higher rate of colonization with Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PSA), hypercapnic respiratory failure, a greater number of hospital admissions due to exacerbation of bronchiectasis, and a higher mortality compared with patients with restrictive or normal pulmonary functions.